Sinar Mas, East Ventures, and Yahoo Japan collaborate to form EV Growth

  • Targets to raise US$150 million and has received US$100 million to date
  • Focuses on Series B-stage Indonesian and SEA startups


Sinar Mas, East Ventures, and Yahoo Japan collaborate to form EV Growth


SINAR Mas, through its venture capital company SMDV, is partnering with East Ventures and Yahoo Japan to form EV Growth, a venture capital firm that targets Southeast Asian pioneering companies, especially from Indonesia, to provide growth-stage capital injection, particularly in terms of Series B funding.

Supported by three experienced players in the field of venture capital, EV Growth will be actively operating in the second quarter of this year and is targeting to raise US$150 million. It has received a commitment for US$100 million from the three venture capital firms.

In the first phase of funding, EV Growth is expected to invest in startups with an initial investment value from US$5 million to US$15 million per startup.

East Ventures managing partner and co-founder Willson Cuaca says, “We are looking for startups that have reached the post-revenue stage and we are open to any verticals of the startups.”

He believes that for a startup to become a unicorn is faster now because it is not only about technology, but also execution skills, big data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and organisational culture.

“The growth of digital pioneering companies in Indonesia is increasing rapidly, not only in terms of quantity but also quality. In SEA, most unicorn companies are built in Indonesia.

“We feel this is a great time to accelerate the development of the regional digital ecosystem with this growth fund. It's time for a digital company in Indonesia to show their teeth in SEA.”

Established in August 2012, YJ Capital has invested in more than 80 companies across Asia and the United States. Yahoo Japan itself is a top public company in Japan engaged in technology.

YJ Capital chief executive officer Shinichiro Hori says, “YJ Capital only joins the best partnership. We are confident that the collaboration with Sinar Mas, which has deep business knowledge in Indonesia and Southeast Asia; as well as East Ventures, which is one of the most active venture capital firms in Southeast Asia, can provide optimal results.

“We come not only to provide funding but also to share Yahoo Japan's long experience in the internet industry, as well as good and healthy corporate governance.”

He adds that the targeted funding contract period will be 10 years, which break down to five years of investment and five years of returns.

SMDV managing partner Roderick Purwana says that EV Growth aims to fund 15 to 20 startups in the next few years.

“Currently EV Growth has invested in five startups (names undisclosed). We will continue to look for more opportunities in high-growth digital companies. With a long history, Sinar Mas has been able to add great value to startup companies. Later companies in the umbrella of EV Growth are also able to collaborate in order to further spur growth.”

Sinar Mas chairman Franky O. Widjaja realised the importance of technology's role in Indonesia’s business transformation several years ago.

Based on existing opportunities and momentum, he established a venture capital firm called SMDV in 2014. Within a short span of time and with support from Sinar Mas’ strong network of companies, SMDV has positioned itself as an active venture capital company in Indonesia with more than 10 portfolio companies.

Franky, who currently sits as a senior advisor in SMDV, envisioned an opportunity to boost the growth of digital startups in Indonesia. Therefore, Sinar Mas, through SMDV, partnered with East Ventures and Yahoo Japan to collaborate on building a complete ecosystem in accelerating the growth of the technology industry in Indonesia. 

“This collaboration is based on trustworthiness and good business relationship track record between Sinar Mas, East Ventures and Yahoo Japan since seven years ago.

“East Ventures is a local partner who has a good track record as one of the venture capital firms for early stage startup funding, while Yahoo Japan is an international partner who has successfully become Japan's largest internet company and is a subsidiary of Softbank.”


Related Stories:

East Ventures announces US$30mil fund for SEA startups focusing on Indonesia

 Collaboration to grow startup ecosystem in Indonesia and Singapore

 Indonesian startup investment hits US$3bil in 2017: Google – AT Kearney


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